Gladiolus WatsoniusWatson's Corn-Flag
- Class and Order
- Triandria Monogynia
- Generic Character
- Cor. 6-partita, tubulosa, ringens. Stamina adscendentia.
- Specific Character and Synonyms
- GLADIOLUS Watsonius corollis infundibuliformibus, limbi laciniis subæqualibus, foliis linearibus ad oras revolutis. Jacq. Icon. rar. 2. t. 233. Collect. 3. p. 257. Linn. Sp. Pl. ed. Wilden. p. 214
- GLADIOLUS Watsonius monostachyus corollis cernuis, tubo duplici, limbi laciniis oblongis, foliis linearibus glabris. Thunb. Prod. p. 8.
Professors Jacquin and Thunberg have both described this rare bulbous plant, a native of the Cape, and newly introduced to this country from Holland among a great variety of others: it seems highly probable that the descriptions of both these authors were taken from dried specimens, since they accord so little with the living plant as it flowers with us.
At first sight, one would be led to regard this plant as an Antholyza rather than a Gladiolus, its flowers bearing a great affinity to those of the Antholyza Meriana, which differs widely from those of the Gladiolus communis: Prof. Thunberg having thought fit to make a Gladiolus of that plant, he could do no less than regard this as a Gladiolus also; we regret that the infinite variety to which all the productions of nature are subject should give occasion to versatile minds perpetually to alter genera, often without due consideration. This species flowers in February and March, requires the same treatment as other Cape bulbs, and is propagated in the same manner.
Descr. Stalk from twelve to eighteen inches high, upright, smooth; Leaves about three or four, the lowermost a sheath merely, the second leaf springs from a long sheath, is puckered at its base, three inches in length, upright, rigid, flat, linear-lanceolate, having three strong ribs, one in the middle, two at the margin, which, projecting on each side, give to the edge of the leaf a thick appearance, the leaves as they ascend, gradually differ from this, and finally become hollow bracteæ, which at first envelope the flowers, and afterwards contribute to support them; Flowers from two to three, each standing on a peduncle-like tube, enclosed by a bifid spatha, contained within and about half the length of the bracteæ; Corolla bright red, funnel-shaped, tube bent somewhat downwards, nearly cylindrical, a little flattened, and glossy, limb divided into six ovato-lanceolate segments, spreading outwards, the uppermost segment incumbent, the three lowermost smaller than the others; Filaments three, whitish, nearly straight; Antheræ oblong, straight, purple; Style red; Stigma trifid, each segment dividing into two villous lips.